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Old 06-27-2007, 01:26 PM
jco jco started this thread
 
Location: Austin
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My niece is 26 months old and counts to 20 in English and Italian (has been in English since before she turned two), knows her colors, shapes, ABCs, and last month asked my sister to teach her to write her letters, so now she's learning that as well. She has been advanced in everything... talking, walking, crawling, etc. Her pediatrician is always amazed at what she can do/say. She speaks in sentences and gives really smart answers to things, which tell me that she's already using critical thinking skills. I'm reading about that high IQ toddler and his developments, and my niece is right where he was. My sister wants to encourage her learning, but can't afford special programs for gifted kids. Does anyone know of anything free or very inexpensive to encourage her along?

 
Old 06-27-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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Please take no offence, but please let her be a toddler. Yes, its great that she knows so much and wonderful. But she also has to learn everyday things too.

My friend has a 6 year old that is bilingual. She is way ahead of my boys who are 7 & 8 ; in an educated way. But socially, she seems to be very far behind ; she clings to her mum whenever we are around.
dorothy
 
Old 06-27-2007, 03:11 PM
 
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 7,628,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jco View Post
My niece is 26 months old and counts to 20 in English and Italian (has been in English since before she turned two), knows her colors, shapes, ABCs, and last month asked my sister to teach her to write her letters, so now she's learning that as well. She has been advanced in everything... talking, walking, crawling, etc. Her pediatrician is always amazed at what she can do/say. She speaks in sentences and gives really smart answers to things, which tell me that she's already using critical thinking skills. I'm reading about that high IQ toddler and his developments, and my niece is right where he was. My sister wants to encourage her learning, but can't afford special programs for gifted kids. Does anyone know of anything free or very inexpensive to encourage her along?
At that age, everything they do is learning. And I hate to say it....my 2 children were doing that (well, not the Italian, but they knew some Spanish from their daycare!) by that age too. Please don't start the gifted thing yet. They might be a quick learner....but it might stable out, and then the parents will feel pressured to disbelieve that it has stabled out.

Let her be a child. She is learning every day. So many parents, on the first day of school, would come up to me and tell me how gifted, bright, intelligent their child was, how they have been doing stuff at such an early age, and to please not let them be bored. I am serious. Every year, I have perhaps 8 parents come up to me and say this. That's almost half my class. Turns out, throughout the year...sure, they were above average.....but not gifted. Would struggle here and there.

Now when school actually starts, the teacher will get a feel for if she is gifted or now. Tell the mom to figure out exactly what is grade level reading, and where the daughter is reading. If she still wants to, she can have her child tested for gifted. I have recommended 2 children for testing, and 4 other children's parents asked to have their children tested for gifted, because they do extremely well in school. Well, only the 2 I recommended were actually gifted. The others weren't.

Please wait until school to see actually what the child can and cannot do.
 
Old 06-27-2007, 04:03 PM
 
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There is no way she can be "encouraged" without running the risk of her being totally bored when she gets in school.. She won't get that individual instruction that she got at home, and she may start causing problems in order to get attention. It happens, trust me on that. And worse of all, it's easy for a child that age to get the idea that they are so special that they don't have to pay attention in class.

I know it seems that she is really really outstanding, but I will hazard a guess that there are many reading this post that have children and grandchildren that have done as much, if not more. Some children are just curious, and like to figure out things. They learn quickly. That does not always mean that they are truly gifted. Just very smart. Please don't push. that's asking for trouble this early.

The time to begin to bear down a little is about 5th grade. Then by the time she gets to High School, she will be in high gear! Supply her with lots of books about everything under the sun. It will surprise you what might interest her.
 
Old 06-27-2007, 04:05 PM
 
Location: on an island
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There is above average, there is gifted, there is highly gifted, there is gifted and talented, etc.
I would wait until she is 3 to have her tested, but I certainly would do it (and have done it with my own). Be sure to find the appropriate facility.
Special needs children who have learning disabilities should get the right programs, and I don't see why gifted children can't still "be children" but still get the enrichment they need. There are teachers who specialize in this sort of learning.
I have had obviously gifted children at preschool, and I have recommended them for testing and even sent one to another school. Yes sometimes they have emotional troubles, or perhaps they might be impatient with others. All the more reason to give them the attention they need while not letting them forget they are just a kid like anyone else. Some identified kids end up with all identified classes, others just have one or two special sessions a week, it all depends on what is out there.
Maybe she is just above average, and should merely continue as is.
It won't hurt her to be tested, the test is fun for the child.
 
Old 06-27-2007, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Great answer as usual from cil, with your background in early childhood ed. Like many of the other posters, I agree that this child may not be a prodigy. My own daughters were speaking in sentences by two; it is not that unusual. I remember my older daughter's kindergarten teaching saying that knowing one's ABCs is different from singing them, so if she's just singing the song, she may not be as advanced as she seems. That said, she does sound like a bright girl. I do agree with those who says she has to be a kid, as well.
 
Old 06-27-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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My daughter was the same way. She knew her shapes, colors, ABC's, talked in complete sentences, was potty trained, and could write her name by her
2nd bday. We didn't do anything special, she was just a fast learner and a curious, smart kid. She's now going into 3rd grade, still very advanced. I say let a kid be a kid. Yes, parents need to "push" and encourage their kids, but they also need to be allowed to be kids. Use play dough, role play, paint, draw, make a mess, have fun.
I've seen a few kids that have been pushed way too far academically and are social outcasts. They can't relate and "play" with kids their age, it's very sad.
Parenting isn't just about making sure your kids are excelling academically, but also teaching them to be kind, compassionate, well rounded individuals.
 
Old 06-27-2007, 11:15 PM
jco jco started this thread
 
Location: Austin
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Please don't think my sister is pushing her into anything. Basically, she's just worried that she'll end up getting bored if she's not challenged. My sister wouldn't put her off in some exclusive place, but wants to make sure she doesn't end up being excluded from honors programs and things because she didn't get into some program at the right time. My niece has great social skills, but definately stands out from kids her age. She just understands things other two year olds don't.

cil - enrichment is the right word. As a teacher, I know that kids like this will either be stimulated or become disinterested because of boredom. I also know that there are few programs for gifted kids and they're competitive (at least here), so I'd hate to see her lose her love of learning because she grew bored.
 
Old 06-28-2007, 05:11 AM
 
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Children at 2 are sponges. I am not saying your niece isnt ahead at all. But please dont pressure her. Talking about honors classes while she is still only 2 is a bit ahead.

dorothy
 
Old 06-28-2007, 05:21 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,158,807 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorann View Post
Yes, parents need to "push" and encourage their kids, but they also need to be allowed to be kids. Use play dough, role play, paint, draw, make a mess, have fun.
I've seen a few kids that have been pushed way too far academically and are social outcasts. They can't relate and "play" with kids their age, it's very sad.
I agree. It can happen, especially when parents take too much time away from simply being a kid.
And I do think true giftedness can be both a blessing and a curse. This problem with social interaction also can occur if a gifted child is mainstreamed when he perhaps should not be. It is a touchy situation.
I have seen more children become rejected because of the new trend of 'holding back' kids with summer birthdays. These older kids become artificially "advanced," excel academically, and then expect everything (sports, social activities) to come easily to them. Sometimes their hopes are dashed.
Quote:
Parenting isn't just about making sure your kids are excelling academically, but also teaching them to be kind, compassionate, well rounded individuals.
Once again, I agree.
However, being well-rounded, to me, means building on strengths along with working on vulnerabilities.
Sometimes it seems like people are so much more tolerant of the educational wants of Special Needs children, while they appear to be threatened by gifted learning. Teachers of gifted children do not sit the children down and instruct elite little Einsteins. It's not as if being a caring member of a community, along with having fun, simply go out the window.
Of course some parents believe their children are gifted when they are merely advanced, and some parents push their children when they should not.
Unfortunately, the opposite is also true: some kids never learn the value of education because their parents do not.
I think that we should *acknowledge* rather than discourage a child's intelligence. To me, ignoring our brightest kids is deplorable.
There is more than one way to "leave a child behind."
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